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Ecotourism Itinerary


Ecotourism Itinerary



On this unique tour you will explore the many creative ways and cutting-edge ways Israel and its people are sustaining their sacred corner of the world for future generations, as you enjoy the highlights of the Holy Land.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth...Who determined the measurements thereof… when the morning stars sang together?” –Job 4:4–7

DAY 1 – Ben Gurion Airport – Tiberias

Where you will be met by a Nazarene Tours representative. Transfer to your hotel in Tiberias for overnight stay.

DAY 2

Start your day with an overview of the sacred sites around the Sea of Galilee from the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. Then, head north to the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, where you will learn that the skies over Israel are a major migratory route for 500 million birds on their twice-yearly migration between Africa to Europe and back. The reserve has lovely wetland trails and blinds to view birds and animals.

Continue to Gamla Nature Reserve on the Golan Heights, where the Israel Nature and Parks Authority are working to conserve the Griffon’s Vulture population of this beautiful area. View the dramatic ruins of Gamla, a Roman-era Jewish city that faced off against Rome, the ruins of a Byzantine village and church and a lookout over the cliffs where birds of prey soar and nest.

Drive to Alonei Habashan in the eastern Golan Heights to view the wind turbines and meet with an expert at the site to learn about wind power in Israel. Return to hotel for overnight.

DAY 3

Begin your day with a visit to Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus. After visiting the Greek Orthodox church of St. Gabriel, built over the ancient spring where local tradition says the Visitation to Mary, took place, visit Nazareth Village, where life in small-town Nazareth of 2,000 years ago is recreated for visitors by costumed interpreters.

Continue through the Galilee Mountains to Kibbutz Harduf, a young collective based on anthroposophist ideology. The kibbutz has an organic food industry and a very special relationship with its Arab neighbors. Enjoy an organic lunch at the kibbutz restaurant and a talk about life in this unique community.

Head for the Mediterranean coast now, and the historic walled city of Acre, much of whose medieval city can still be seen intact, both below ground and above. Explore the Knights Halls, the Al-Jazar Mosque and the Ethnographic and Folklore Museum, built right into the rooms of the old wall. Walk through the open-air fruit, vegetable and spice market.

Overnight in the Acre or Haifa areas

DAY 4

This morning, you’ll travel across the beautiful Mount Carmel range to Caesarea, Herod’s port city and the Roman administrative capital in the region. Enjoy a walk through the impressive remains and a visit to the ancient aqueduct on a beautiful stretch of Mediterranean beach.

Proceed to Yarkon National Park, an important part of metropolitan Tel Aviv’s “green lung.” The park has two main attractions: Tel Afek (the New Testament Antipatris) and its Ottoman-period fortress, overlooking the springs of the Yarkon River; and the area around the sources of the Yarkon River, which boasts a wealth of flora and fauna.

Next, you’ll visit Hiriya Recycling Park, the centerpiece of Ariel Sharon Park which, at 2,000 acres, is one of the largest urban parks in the world, where you will see a very special example of landfill rehabilitation. You’ll see how biological sub-systems reduce the weight of municipal waste by more than 90% and produce bio-gas to create electricity and, among several recycling plants, water lilies, papyrus and other species thrive in a self-sustaining, biological sewage treatment system. Tour the visitor center, virtually everything (including the building itself – which was once a huge compost shed) is recycled. Overnight in Tel Aviv.

DAY 5

Today is devoted to the sacred highlights of Jerusalem. Begin with the inspiring view of the holy city from the top of the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. Enter the Old City through the Lion’s Gate and, after visiting the Pools of Bethesda and the Church of St. Anne, begin your walk on the Via Dolorosa, pausing at the Stations of the Cross. Your walk culminates with a visit to the venerable Church of the Holy Sepulchre, marking the site of Calvary and Jesus’ Tomb. Continue through the Jewish Quarter and visit the Western Wall, the most sacred spot in the world to Jews. Overnight in Jerusalem.

DAY 6

Begin your day with a guided tour of the Biblical Zoo with an ecological focus. Hear about the zoo’s main goal in furthering the conservation of endangered species and re-introduce of captive-born animals to their natural habitat.

Drive through the New City to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum and the 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.

Enjoy an afternoon walk in the Judean Hills at Sataf, through ancient agricultural terraces and a spring, where farmers grew grapes, olives, figs, and pomegranates for thousands of years, and modern-day weekend Jerusalemites farmers use organic techniques to cultivate spices and other crops.

This evening, take a special guided evening tour of Jerusalem’s Botanical Garden. (If weather or other conditions do not permit, a guided day tour of the Botanical Garden can be substituted)

DAY 7

Leave Jerusalem and drive to the Dead Sea. Your first stop is the magnificent Ein Gedi oasis, a green gem in desert, where you’ll walk up to the refreshing waterfall. Visit Kibbutz Ein Gedi’s botanical garden, with trees and plants from tropical and other regions around the world.

This afternoon, ascend to the famed fortress of Masada by cable-car to explore the fortress that was the scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. End the day with a dip in the saltiest, lowest body of water in the world in the mineral rich and healing air of the Dead Sea, known as the largest natural spa in the world. Overnight in the Dead Sea area.

DAY 8

Drive westward today to the Negev Highlands and the edge of a unique geological wonder of Makhtesh Ramon, a huge erosion crater creating a "window" onto the earth’s past. After visiting the Ramon Visitors Center, continue to Avdat, to view the ruins of one of the cities built by the Nabateans as a stop along the Incense Route they created from Petra to Gaza. Learn how the inhabitants lived in harmony with the desert by harvesting its meager rainfall to cultivate a host of crops.

Next, visit the Joe Alon Center for Bedouin Culture near Be’er Sheva. Here, you’ll discover the secrets of the Bedouin lifestyle and its effortless harmony with nature in the past as well as the challenges to its culture in modern times, and drink traditional tea and coffee in a Bedouin tent, before heading to Jerusalem.

DAY 9 - Transfer from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion Airport.

Transfer from your hotel to Ben Gurion Airport for departure. A Nazarene Tours representative will assist you through the formalities.